The Guild of Master Craftsmen take security very seriously particularly where it effects the Guild members and their clients.
We take one example of a conciliation case where a scam left our member and his client out of pocket, to the value, more than £3,000.00.
This particular scam is known as a payment redirection scam.
This Building company had been carrying out external work for his client for some weeks. He had already requested (via email) and received payment over the internet by bank transfer.
So, it was not unusual to see further request from the Builder by email for a further stage payment in the region of £5,000.00.
His client received a further email confirming, “having problems with his existing bank account please deposit the funds in to a new Bank account” recorded, by what he thought, was from his Builder. It was from the same email address, so the client thought it was genuine.
Emails can be spoofed so they are made to look genuine. In this case the email, was even sent from a genuine email account (the Builders) that has been hacked by the fraudsters.
No money arrived into the Builders account, so he believed the client had not paid. The client thought he had paid the money across to the Builders account, so he believed the Builders was trying to claim double payment. Difficult situation for both Builder and his client.
If there was any good in this situation, it was that the Client only paid over half of the due amount and was about to pay the second half when the Builder called the client confirming that he had not received any of this payment.
For some weeks this lead to a difficult situation for both client and Builder both believing the other party was in the wrong.
Always confirm any instructions to make payment, particularly to a change of a new bank account, directly with the person you are dealing with.
Do not reply to the scam email or use the contact details included in it. Make sure that you check with your trading partner that all details are genuine.
Check by alternative methods such as post to known original address or by a genuine phone call (mobile and known land line).
Either way check original details. Make sure that the payment will reach the correct bank account.
Report all cases of Fraud to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or phone 0300 123 2040.
For further help and advice see the leaflets below.